Just Transition for All

DATELINE—EUROPE: Trade Rules Threaten Again
By Jonathan Tasini

In Issue #2 of our newsletter, we warned that global trade rules posed a a grave threat to climate change efforts and, to the subject we address here as our mission, will scuttle even modest attempts at ensuring a worker- and community-centric Just Transition. After all, the so-called “free trade” regime, built over half a century, has hurt workers in every country because the underlying driver of trade under these rules is the insatiable search for lower wages.

Now, we see another example. Via the Financial Times:

The EU’s trading partners have hit out at the bloc’s plan to introduce the world’s first carbon border tax, saying it is protectionist and puts export industries at risk, as negotiations to complete the deal stretch into the weekend.

“Protectionism” is the buzz word designed to cast a negative light on what is really sensible industrial and climate change policy.

We maintain the view—and we are happy to feature in the Opinion section of the newsletter a counter view—that climate change efforts, and Just Transition for workers, will be impossible to pursue as long as the so-called “free trade” system exists. The two goals—preserving the planet and workers’ livelihoods versus protecting the existing trading system—are incompatible.

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